Monday, November 02, 2009

The Postal Service - Give Up

This is a really apt title: allowing myself to like it was a process of giving up some of my pride. When I first heard "Such Great Heights," years ago when I didn't know who it was, I loved it right up until I got that sharp burst of pain when I found out that it was a Ben Gibbard project. I've never understood the appeal of Death Cab for Cutie, and the thought of liking one of his albums was anathema to a 20-year-old music nerd who was mainly into angry punk stuff. But eventually, I relaxed, and admitted to myself that Gibbard or not, these songs were too good to pass by. Any song on the album could have been chosen as the single and it would have been just as successful. The album is largely electronic, and it sounds pretty clean as a result, but at no point does it lose any warmth, or any sense of the emotional baggage that worked its way prominently into the songwriting. Give Up will comfort you and make you happy, but only when you're ready to be lonely and sad.

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